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CONDUCT AND CHARACTER is a concise anthology of readings in ethical theory that covers the major schools of thought as well as a handful of fundamental topics in ethical theory. Reading selections in the chapters provide coverage of both classical and contemporary philosophical writings, representing a spectrum of viewpoints on each theory or topic. The readings include brief introductions to assist students in identifying key ideas and have been selected and edited in order to optimize student comprehension. This collection is perfect for ethics courses that focus on theory, as well as a supplementary text for applied ethics courses. Because of short, self-contained chapters it also works very well for an ethics component in introductory philosophy courses.
- NEW! Chapter on contract theories of morality, which includes a selection from Thomas Hobbes and a commentary on Hobbes’s view by Mark C. Murphy as well as a selection from T. M. Scanlon’s 1998 book, What We Owe to Each Other, followed by Philip Pettit’s critique of Scanlon’s theory, "Can Contract Theory Ground Morality?"
- NEW! Chapter on Pluralism and Particularism has been divided in two in order to expand the coverage of pluralism by including selections from Michael B. Gill, a defender of pluralism, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong a critic.
- NEW! Chapter on Virtue Ethics/Ethics of Virtue now includes a selection from Robert Merrihew Adam’s 2006 book, A Theory of Virtue which adds balance to considerations of virtue and vice as they figure in moral theory.
- NEW! Chapter on Natural Law Theory now includes Michael Gorr’s "Natural Law Theory: Some Questions," written for this edition and expanded selection by Aquinas.
- NEW! Robert Nozick’s well-known and fun-to-teach "The Experience Machine" has been added to the four selections featured in the Consequentialism chapter.
- A concise and balanced collection of expertly edited classical and contemporary writings on moral theory designed to introduce students to the study of ethics
- The opening chapter introduces students to the basic concepts, aims, and structure of moral theory as well as the role played by moral principles. The chapter ends with a framework which students can use to evaluate a moral theory.
- The ten remaining chapters contain 37* readings, with each chapter devoted to a different type of moral theory. New articles include Michael Gorr on Natural Law Theory, Thomas Hobbes, Mark C. Murphy, T. M. Scanlon, and Philip Pettit debating Contract Theory, Michael Gill and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on Moral Pluralism, Robert Merrihew Adams on the Ethics of Virtue, and Robert Nozick’s "The Experience Machine."
- Each selection is introduced with brief notes on the author and significance of the reading.
1. Introduction to Moral Theory: The Nature and Evaluation of Moral Theories.
Basic Moral Concepts. The Aims of Moral Theory. The Role of Moral Principles in a Moral Theory. The Structure of a Moral Theory. Brief Summary. How to Evaluate a Moral Theory. Preview.
Plato: The Myth of Gyges. David Shoemaker: Egoisms.
3. Ethics by Authority.
Robert C. Mortimer: Morality is Based on God’s Commands. Mark Timmons: Does Morality Depend on God’s Commands? Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Ethical Relativism. James Rachels: The Challenge of Cultural Relativism.
4. The Natural Law Theory.
St. Thomas Aquinas: Treatise on Law. C. E. Harris:The Ethics of Natural Law. Philippa Foot: The Doctrine of Double Effect. Michael Gorr: Natural Law Theory: Some Questions.
Jeremy Bentham: The Principle of Utility. J. S. Mill: In Defense of Utilitarianism. Robert Nozick: The Experience Machine. Stephen Darwall: Utilitarianism: Act or Rule? Brad Hooker: Rule-Consequentialism.
6. Kantian Ethical Theory.
Immanuel Kant: Morality as a System of Categorical Imperatives. Joshua Glasgow: Kant’s Principle of Universal Law. Onora O’Neill: Kant on Treating People as Ends in Themselves.
Fred Feldman: On Treating People as Ends in Themselves: A Critique of Kant.
7. Contract Theory.
Thomas Hobbes: The Social Contract. Mark C. Murphy. Hobbe’s Social Contract Theory. T. M. Scanlon: A Contractualist Theory of What We Owe to Each Other. Philip Pettit: Can Contract Theory Ground Morality?
8. Virtue Ethics.
Aristotle: Virtue and Character. Rosalind Hursthouse: Normative Virtue Ethics. Robert N. Johnson: Virtue and Right. Robert Merrihew Adams: Excellence in Being for the Good.
9. The Ethics of Care.
Carol Gilligan: Moral Orientation and Moral Development. Nel Noddings: An Ethic of Caring.
Claudia Card: Caring and Evil. Raja Halwani: Care Ethics and Virtue Ethics.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Moral Choice without Principles. W. D. Ross: What Makes Right Actions Right? Michael B. Gill: Agonizing Decisions and Moral Pluralism. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: How Strong is this Obligation?
David McNaughton: Principles or Particularism? Brad Hooker/ Moral Particularism: Wrong and Bad.
About the Author
"In brief compass it provides a superb survey of the main Western moral theories through engaging and accessible modern and historical readings. Two particular noteworthy features are the helpful Introduction, which frames the issues to be discussed and provides criteria for evaluating moral theories, and the inclusion of readings raise pointed critical questions about the theories canvassed." - Holly M Smith , Rutgers University
"CONDUCT AND CHARACTER is one of the best texts on the market for an introductory course in ethics. It covers all of the major ethical theory in a thoughtfully organized manner while providing students with easy to understand criteria to evaluate the theories with. The mixture of classic readings by major figures in the history of philosophy with contemporary secondary essays makes this book useful and accessible to students from both philosophy and other disciplines." - Netty Provost , Purdue University, Indiana University at Kokomo
Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.
CONDUCT AND CHARACTER is a concise anthology of readings in ethical theory that covers the major schools of thought as well as a handful of fundamental topics in ethical theory. Reading selections in the chapters provide coverage of both classical and contemporary philosophical writings, representing a spectrum of viewpoints on each theory or topic. The readings include brief introductions to assist students in identifying key ideas and have been selected and edited in order to optimize student comprehension.